1. Kansas became the 34th state on January 29, 1861, but July 6 is also an important date in Kansas history as it marks the day in 1865 when the first election was held under a new constitution that abolished slavery in the state. This election saw the election of the first black senator in U.S. history.
2. In 1907, on July 6, a tornado hit the town of Leavenworth, Kansas, causing widespread destruction, damaging over 400 buildings, and injuring more than 100 people. The destructive twister caused over $1 million in damages, equivalent to over $27.5 million today.
3. On July 6, 1957, Kansas City Royals great and Hall of Famer, George Brett was born in Glen Dale, West Virginia. Brett played his entire career with the Royals, earning 13 All-Star selections, three AL batting titles, and the 1985 World Series.
4. The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center opened its doors to the public on July 6, 1980. The center, located in Hutchinson, is home to one of the world's largest collections of American and Russian space artifacts, including the Apollo 13 command module and the Vostok 1 capsule in which Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth.
5. On July 6, 2005, Kansas City, Kansas, native Joe Nemechek earned his first NASCAR Cup victory in more than 120 starts. It was an emotional win as "Front Row Joe" was driving for a one-car team with his brother, John, as crew chief. It was also the first win for an American-made car in NASCAR since 1983.
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